John E. Vigars Kent Church Photographs
Image Source: John Vigar
An urban nineteenth century church in the Weald of Kent, St Michael's has given its dedication to the name of the place - formerly the hamlet of Bird's Isle in the parish of Tenterden. In the 1860s the curate of Tenterden`s father, Mr Seaman Beale employed the architect G M Hills to build a church which was consecrated on 1st August 1863. The architect was G M Hills and the builders Bournes of Woodchurch. The spire came later. Consisting of nave with lean to south aisle and chancel, the church is notable as having very high windows on the north side. It is built of ragstone with Bath stone dressings. The inlaid reredos has a cross at its centre, a reminder that in 1863 it was still illegal to place a cross on the Holy Table - the representation in the wall behind having to suffice. The colourful organ and pretty iron font cover are worthy of note, but the stained glass is a particularly interesting assortment. Of the opening of the church, the 3-light east window of the Crucifixion is a good example. It is by Henry Hughes. Of twenty years later, the window in the westernmost corner of the north wall, depicting Christ calming the seas, is by Ward and Hughes. The chancel south windows have a fine image of St Uriel by Albert Moore, whilst SS Michael and Gabriel are by Lavers and Westlake. All in all a little known, but quite worthwhile building.
1851 Census Details
Seating Capacity: Not built
Morning Attendance: Not built
Afternoon Attendance: Not built
Evening Attendance: Not built
Original Build Date/Architect: G.M. Hills 1862
Second Restoration: -
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